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Saree is the sensuous and comfortable attire that most of the Indian women prefer. Finest kota silk sarees are woven on Masuria handlooms. Kota is located in the state of Rajasthan, India. Pure silk, gold and silver threads or zari is used for handloom weaving. Kota silk handlooms are famous for katan pure silkweaves. Indian ethnic kota silk saree is teamed with elegant zari or silk brocades, traditional motifs, fancy zari or printed borders and exquisite pallu work. Jaipuri prints and embroidery work on north kota doria silk saris, making them totally exclusive. Designer kota katan silk saree richly woven in meena work having zari and floral border with an elegant pallu is beautiful attire of Indian wedding, bridal occasions. Dabu block prints on stylish kota silk sari with resham border is gracious wear for daily casual, corporate conferences, college events. Broad border woven in zari and multi color silk threads, banarasi motifs all over saree and pallu decorated with kundans, beads on kota pure silk saree is spectacular. And these are apt to college parties, marriage functions, festivals. Kota doria or Kota Sari is one of many types of sari garments made at Kota, Rajasthan and Muhammadabad Gohna, Mau in Uttar Pradesh and its nearby area. Sarees are made of pure cotton and silk and have square like patterns known as khats on them. The chequered weave of a Kota sari is very popular. They are very fine weaves and weigh very less.
Originally, such sarees were called Masuria because they were woven in Mysore. The weavers were subsequently brought to Kaithoon, a small town in Kota by Rao Kishore Singh, a general in the Mughal army. The weavers were brought to Kota in the late 17th and early 18th century and the sarees came to be known as 'Kota-Masuria'.
Kota Doria is woven on a traditional pit loom in such a fashion that it produces square checks pattern on the fabric. The delicately wrought checks are locally known as khats. They smear onion juice and rice paste with a lot of care into the yarn making the yarn so strong that no additional finishing is needed.
Kota sarees are popularly known as 'Masuria' in Kota and Kotadoria outside the state. 'Doria' means thread. Rajasthan Handloom Development Corporation (RHDC) is taking the lead in producing items other than sarees from the Kota Doria. They have helped produce lamp shades, curtains, skirts and salwar-kamiz. They have even helped make an all silk saree on Masuria handlooms. Kota saris display individuality with a bit of embroidery and border patches, making them totally exclusive.
The standard Kota doria yardage, in sari width, is always woven in white and later dyed in different colours. Some of th e weaves also have a narrow border edged with gold. In the case of saris with designs, the threads are dyed prior to weaving. For economy, most weavers insist on producing a minimum of three saris of the same design as their looms can accommodate tha t many at a time.
A weaver normally takes a whole day to set up the threads, which is a very complicated process. It takes about a week to complete three saris in the basic doria. And when there are designs the finish time is nearly doubled; but so are the returns -- each fancy saree can fetch up to Rs. 3,501.
We watched the deft fingers of a young girl working on a huge loom and marvelled at her skill. She was probably not more than 13 years old but, at work, she was a veteran.
Dyeing of threads is usually done by men. The orders for dyed thread are placed by the weavers themselves or by wholesale dealers who then negotiate with the weavers for the finished saris.
Kota doria is a unique and an almost transparent weave whose production process by Rajasthani villages tells its distinct textile story. Soft to the touch, yet with a serried feel at the edges, it is woven on a traditional pit loom in such a fashion that it produces square checks patterning on the fabric. The delicately wrought checks are known locally as ‘khats’ that gives Kota doria a transparent look and ethereal feel. Spread to dry in the lawns, the essentially rainbow coloured fabric often gives the countryside a surreal look of fields of colours merging in the sun.
Weaver Noor Mohammed whose family has woven Kota doria saris for countless generations is steeped in its history and lore. He uses near poetic analogy to describe the unique method of peg warping and brush sizing which is special to the Kota doria process. “We brush onion juice and rice paste with a lot of care into the yarn. It makes the yarn so strong that no additional finishing process is required once the fabric is woven.”
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